This week’s column will be all about empathy. What a great word for right now and everything our kids of all ages are trying to take in and understand. I used to think I had a lot of empathy for the students I taught and any other person I came in contact with, however, I am now realizing that at 61 years old, I still have a lot to learn. I have not walked in other people’s shoes, I have not felt what they were feeling, and I, just like most of us, cannot truly understand what someone else is going through, unless I have experienced the exact same thing and even then, everyone takes the same things differently.
What I will say is that I want to be much more empathetic and understanding for all people. I want to see both sides of things that are going on in our world right now. I want people to feel my empathy for others as soon as I talk to them. I want so badly for our nation and the all the people in it to feel empathy, especially for those who are different from them and empathy for those who have daily struggles of all types and understand that others may not have things as easy as some of us do.
In my search this week, I found a wonderful site called Changing Perspectives https://changingperspectivesnow.org/ This is listed as K-8 at Home Social Emotional Activities, however, I think it contains things that will be good through high school. I think that’s why I liked it, it tells things that all of us, even adults would like to see and read. It also states the activities can be used in school or at home.
There are several categories and ideas for all. Self-Awareness, Self-Management, Social Awareness, Relationship Skills, and Responsible Decision Making. Within each of these categories, there are lessons and even plans sometimes, plus there are links to other things like a virtual tour of the Empathy Museum and jump off places to visit within that one. One of the ones I really liked here was, “Walk a Mile in My Shoes.” As if that is not enough, within this link to the Empathy Museum, there are book suggestions, but not like any review I have ever seen. These reviews have young people telling a bit about the book, but what they associated in the book with themselves and why they liked it so well.
All of that is just pieces of things you will be able to access once you’re in the Changing Perspectives site. There is an activity one could do with a sibling, decision making, social distancing and how you can help, soothing spaces, a fidget basket, your strengths and weaknesses, what makes you special and unique, plus many more. I could have stayed on there all day long.
At the bottom of the page, there are Videos & Discussion Questions for K-2, 3-5, and 6-8(these can be even for older students and adults). I encourage you to check this out and if you like the ideas, share with other parents and teachers as well. If you don’t like it, no problem, I realize that sometimes things I suggest and like others may not, but I just want to shoot ideas out there for those who need something.
I will have more things, especially for those who are doing more of the virtual learning in the weeks to come.
Have fun with your children this week, it will make you and them feel better. Keep in mind. I try to do my best to find things that are not a ton of work for you.
Let me know any ideas you have or what you would like to see and I’ll get right on it for you. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Remember to be kind to each other and continue to set a good example for our children they need us so much right now. See you all next week!
Reach Kimberly Jenkins (740)353-3101 ext. 1928
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